SACRAMENTO (AP) - Federal authorities say a fish that inhabits California's delta does not warrant protection on the federal endangered species list.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement Wednesday after a 12-month review of longfin smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The review was sought by environmental groups that say the fish population has plummeted to its lowest level in four decades.
Future protection remains a possibility for the broader longfin smelt population. The fish, which can grow up to 5 inches, is found in estuaries along the Pacific Coast from the San Francisco Bay area to Alaska.
Federal wildlife officials say they are seeking more information on the entire longfin smelt population as a first step toward a full assessment.
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